“Effectively fighting shoplifting requires aligning the interests of the victim – retailers – with those of law enforcement and the justice system,” said Ms. Miller.
SALT LAKE CITY (PRWEB) November 11, 2014
A former District Attorney, Lohra Miller, CEO and founder of loss prevention technology company Turning Point Justice (TPJ), is not your typical technology visionary. Ms. Miller worked in the criminal justice system for 20 years to hold offenders accountable for their actions. Over the decades, she found that prosecuting petty crimes consumed significant public resources across law enforcement and the court system. With budgets shrinking across the country, Ms. Miller began researching alternatives for handling misdemeanor offenders while streamlining efficiency, which led her to build a solution in the cloud.
As a prosecutor, Ms. Miller knew that shoplifting was particularly challenging for communities. Petty theft is one of the most common crimes in America, and it costs retailers an average of $35 million in losses every day. Those losses cut into the funds available to add more jobs in local communities. When police are called to stores, reporting on the incident can take hours, which reduces the time officers have to spend on more critical incidents. Later, officers have to attend court hearings, further cutting into the time available to spend on patrol. Some retailers are reluctant to overburden police and prosecutors, which means that many offenders are let go with just a warning from the store. Without consequences, many shoplifters steal again, causing further damage to retailers and their local economies.
Cloud Collaboration to Fight Petty Crime
“Effectively fighting shoplifting requires aligning the interests of the victim – retailers – with those of law enforcement and the justice system,” said Ms. Miller. “The store is the first touch point with a shoplifter. When you examine the processes that happen when a retailer catches someone shoplifting, you realize that identifying the detainee, collecting evidence, calculating the damage, and preparing better incident reports for everyone can be much more easily accomplished with cloud computing to remove the expensive, time-consuming burden of administration from police officers.”
Ms. Miller’s company, Turning Point Justice, created its Cloud Justice platform to streamline shoplifter processing by uniting identification, criminal record, and law enforcement databases with GPS tracking while gathering evidence, calculating restitution, and preparing police and civil demand reports. The technology is customized to match local laws and retail practices as it walks loss prevention agents through each step. Cloud Justice is provided at no cost to retailers, and stores including Sears, Kmart and Gabe’s are already introducing the systems in stores.
Preserving Public Resources, Growing Accountability
Ms. Miller is a firm believer in the importance of appropriate consequences as a means to teach accountability and positive values. To ensure shoplifters face consequences without the need for court prosecution that costs taxpayers, Ms. Miller teamed up with the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) to co-develop the Crime Accountability Program (CAP). CAP is an optional program offered to qualifying first time, petty offenders through the Cloud Justice platform at the time of the incident. Shoplifters who decide to participate in CAP agree to pay a program fee, pay back restitution to the retailer and complete a NASP shoplifter education program, the same programs used by court systems in 49 states nationwide. NASP – a non profit organization – provides all student management and compliance tracking to help ensure offenders follow through with their CAP requirements.
“Traditional criminal justice is a vital system of our society that helps to protect us against serious offenders, but it can be a costly approach when used to address the epidemic of petty theft that hurts our communities’ economies,” Ms. Miller said. “While traditional criminal justice systems focus primarily on punishing an offender for past behavior, CAP focuses on long term problem-solving and positive outcomes by involving the offender, the victim, and the community in the process of making amends for an incident and ensuring it does not happen again in the future.”
To learn more about Cloud Justice and the CAP program, please visit http://www.turningpointjustice.com. Lohra Miller also has a blog and RSS feed about law at http://www.lohramiller.com and focuses on restorative justice at http://www.lohramiller.net.
About Turning Point Justice
Turning Point Justice (TPJ) is a rapidly growing cloud technology company that assists victims of crime, communities and law enforcement agencies in working together to improve accountability for offenders and outcomes for victims. Designed by criminal justice professionals, TPJ Cloud Justice solutions ensure integrity and compliance from apprehension to offender accountability and community support. Turning Point Justice serves the retail industry in partnership with the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention through the Crime Accountability Program, which saves time and budget for both private and public partners, ensures consistent restitution and legal compliance for retailers, and provides first-time shoplifters with education that enables offenders to avoid a criminal record and remain positive members of their communities. Visit us at http://www.turningpointjustice.com to learn more.
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) is a private non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in working with consumers, teens and children who have shoplifted. NASP conducts research and offers education, prevention and rehabilitation programs, in addition to self-help and support services for people caught shoplifting. NASP's unparalleled shoplifter research and ongoing collaboration with community stakeholders - from crime prevention, to law enforcement, to retailers, to criminal and juvenile justice - has been the basis for its organizational activities and the foundation for its programs and services. NASP’s core programs, the Shoplifters Alternative Course (SA Course) for adults and the Youth Educational Shoplifting Program (Y.E.S. Program) for juveniles are evidence-based and have been approved by thousands of criminal justice professionals and utilized in more than 2,000 jurisdictions across the United States. NASP programs continue to deliver the lowest court-reported recidivism rates of 2.9% nationwide. To learn more about NASP, visit http://www.shopliftingprevention.org.